Since last week Twitter is showing an obnoxious behaviour. Micro-blogging website has flagged a tweet of BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra regarding ‘Congress Toolkit’ alleging the tweet as ‘manipulated media’.
Friends look at the #CongressToolKit in extending help to the needy during the Pandemic!
More of a PR exercise with the help of “Friendly Journalists” & “Influencers” than a soulful endeavour.
Read for yourselves the agenda of the Congress:#CongressToolKitExposed pic.twitter.com/3b7c2GN0re
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) May 18, 2021
A day after Twitter flagged Sambit Patra’s tweet on the Congress toolkit as manipulated, the Congress party validated its move and claimed that the documents shared by Mr. Patra are fake. On Thursday Congress wrote to Twitter’s grievance cell asking them to suspend the handles of some BJP leaders including JP Nadda, Smriti Irani, Sambit Patra, BL Santosh, and others permanently for spreading fake documents and misinformation to create agitation among the society.
Our letter to Twitter HQs on the permanent suspension of accounts by BJP leaders – Shri JP Nadda, Shri Sambit Patra, Shri BL Santosh & Smt. Smriti Irani – who knowingly spread misinformation to distract from their own failures. pic.twitter.com/LhsxY9iXFY
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 20, 2021
On Friday union government lodged a strong protest with Twitter against its move to tag Sambit’s tweet as manipulated media. In a strong communication, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has registered an objection to the use of tag ‘manipulated media’ to Twitter’s global team. The ministry has asked Twitter to remove the tag of ‘manipulated media’ post made by Indian political leaders concerning ‘toolkit exposure’ in the interest of fairness and equity. The ministry also mentioned to Twitter that the toolkit matter is already under investigation as one of the concerned parties had made a complaint before the law enforcement agency asking the actual truth of the ‘toolkit’. The ministry issued a drastic response to Twitter’s ‘unilateral judgment’ of tagging Patra’s tweet as ‘manipulated media’ while the matter is under investigation, the Centre said that such tagging by Twitter appears ‘pre-judged, prejudiced and deliberate attempt to colour to investigation’.
Some online news sites also supported this unilateral conclusion of Twitter by posting irresponsible posts.
Congratulations to BJP National spokesperson @sambitswaraj ji for becoming the first proud Indian whose tweet is flagged as "Manipulated media" TWICE. What Next? #BoycottTwitter and go back to Koo? 🤔🤭 pic.twitter.com/NWj7UAXCXs
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) May 20, 2021
Twitter office raided by Delhi Police
On Monday 24th May, days after Twitter flagged some tweets as a vicious attempt to malign the efforts of the Central government, a team of Delhi Police’s special cell raided Twitter India’s Delhi and Gurgaon offices to serve the social media platform a notice. “After receiving complaints from Rohan Gupta, who heads Congress’s social media handles, and M V Rajeev Gowda, the party’s national spokesperson, over the BJP’s ‘toolkit’ allegations, Delhi Police has decided to issue the notice,” said one of the Delhi Police official.
Here is the coverage of the Delhi Police’s raid in Twitter India’s office posted by Jignasa Sinha, correspondent of The Indian Express.
— Jignasa Sinha (@jignasa_sinha) May 24, 2021
On Sunday, Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh Police registered a case against former CM of Chattisgarh Raman Singh and Sambit Patra regarding the ‘toolkit’ tweets.
As per PRO, Delhi Police Chinmoy Biswal “the action was a part of the routine process” “This was necessitated as we wanted to ascertain who is the right person to serve a notice, as replies by Twitter MD have been very ambiguous”. On Monday police teams were sent to both locations, the office in Delhi was locked said, one official.
A senior Delhi officer said “Twitter declared the tweets as manipulated media. They must have some information which called them forth to do so when we asked them to provide the cause so that we can take action on the complaint, but Manish Maheshwari, MD Twitter India told us he has ‘nothing to do with this tweet and that ‘he is a mere employee’ of their Indian office”.
Congress Communication Department Head Randeep Surjewala however said that the police action was a consequence of the ‘fake toolkit’ being “exposed”.
Cowardly raid on @Twitter unleashed by Delhi Police exposes lameduck attempts to hide the fraudulent toolkit by BJP leaders.
Such attempts to murder freedom of speech lay bare the BJP’s guilt.
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 24, 2021
CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury also claimed this action of Delhi Police as inhuman and shameful, he also said that the government is not giving priority to its duties.
Priority of these times is to focus on providing healthcare, medicines & vaccines.
Union Home Minister instead unleashes Delhi Police on a social media platform to intimidate it for petty & partisan political purposes.
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) May 24, 2021
There are numerous times when Twitter had done such a deed, and IT Ministry had taken action on it. This prejudiced action of Twitter needs to be stopped, being a social media platform it is important to be neutral rather than supporting a particular political ideology.
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